Crimes against goths are not hate crimes

May 23, 2013, 10:06 PM GMT+0

Americans do not support expanding the definition of hate crimes to include bias against subcultures, such as goths

Last month, police in Manchester, England made headlines when they began recording as hate crimes attacks on members of subcultures, such as goths or punks, following the 2007 murder of a 20 year-old based on how she dressed.

New YouGov research reveals that Americans as a whole do not back such an expansion of the definition of a hate crime. 48% said that attacks based on the victim's membership in a subculture should not be considered a hate crime, while 38% said it should.

Overall, majorities of Americans identified crimes based on five things as being hate crimes: race (marked by 64%), sexual orientation (59%), being transgendered (58%), religion (57%) and having a disability (53%). Currently, the FBI considers incidents based on bias against these areas, along with bias against gender, as hate crimes.

Majorities of Americans, however, also said that attacks based on other factors such as age, height, weight or political views should not be considered hate crimes.

These results varied considerably from the United Kingdom where a similar study was done last week. While levels of support followed the same general pattern there, a majority there considered an attack based on any of the included criteria a hate crime.

The results also saw a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans in what should be treated as a hate crime. Democrats were far more likely to consider an attack based on any of the criteria a hate crime, while a majority of Republicans considered only one of the criteria as sufficient for a hate crime: race.

According to the FBI, there were 6,222 hate crimes in the United States. 46.9% were racially motivated, 20.8% from sexual-orientation bias, 19.8% from religious bias, 11.6% from ethnicity/national origin bias and 0.9% from disability bias.

Complete results can be found here.

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